London: The UK will recognise Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin as an approved Covid-19 vaccine for travel from India from November 22 following the WHO emergency use approval given last week. This will be in addition to India-manufactured Astra Zeneca’s Covishield that got validation earlier.
“From 4am Monday 22 November, COVID-19 vaccines on the WHO EUL will be recognised and all under-18s coming to England will be treated as fully vaccinated at the border,” according to a travel update issued by the UK government late on Monday.
As a result, Sinovac, Sinopharm Beijing and Covaxin will be added to our list of approved vaccines for inbound travel, benefitting more fully vaccinated people from countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia and India, the update stated.
The list of approved vaccines already includes Pfizer BioNTech, Oxford AstraZeneca (including Covishield) and Moderna and Janssen (J&J)
Covishield, the India-manufactured Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, was added to the UK’s approved list last month.
The changes will come into effect at 4 am on November 22.
Besides Covaxin, China’s Sinovac and Sinopharm, both on the WHO Emergency Use Listing, will be recognised by the UK government as approved vaccines for inbound travel, benefitting fully vaccinated people from the United Arab Emirates and Malaysia. These fully vaccinated passengers will not be required to take a pre-departure test, day-eight test or self-isolate upon arrival.
“As we continue to recover from the pandemic and expand our recognition of international vaccines, today’s announcements mark the next step in our restart of international travel,” said UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.
“The red list and quarantine system remain vital in protecting our borders and as we’ve said, we will not hesitate to take action by adding countries to the red list if necessary,” UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid said.
The UK government has also simplified the travel rules for all under-18s coming to England. They will now be treated as fully vaccinated at the border and will be exempt from self-isolation requirements on arrival, day-eight testing and pre-departure testing. They will only be required to take one post-arrival test and a confirmatory free PCR test if they test positive.